Tired of the pothead smoking dagga in your complex? These are your legal options

Dagga Source: Google Images

Now that South Africans have the freedom to smoke dagga at home, what does that mean for non-smoking residents living in complexes?

While smoking dagga in the privacy of your own home is legal, for people living in complexes, the definition of private space is tricky.

Specialist sectional title attorney, Marina Constas, says that a space is considered ‘private’ if it registered as an exclusive-use area on a title deed.

If a garden or balcony is listed as an exclusive-use area, then smokers can legally light up a joint in those spaces, says Constas, the director at BBM Attorneys.

However, if a balcony or garden is not registered under their specific ‘section’, the area is legally considered a public space.

In addition, spaces that are defined as common property within complexes, such as parking bays, clubhouses, gardens, pool, and braai facilities are also out of bounds for dagga-smoking.

So if a garden or balcony area is registered as common property, dagga smokers are legally prohibited from lighting up in those areas.

Constas provided clarity on this matter after a CapeTalk caller complained that their neighbour’s smoke drifts into their home space.

Constas says the conduct rules enforced by a body corporate are not enough to regulate dagga smoking in complexes.

She says aggrieved residents should consider lodging a dispute with the Community Schemes Ombud Service, provided that they have solid evidence to prove that there is a legal violation.

We have got the protection of legislation in these complexes.

Marina Constas, Director at BBM Attorneys

What is the privacy of your own home? Is your garden your own home? Is your balcony your own home. That all depends on whether it’s registered as a section and an exclusive use area, or perhaps the garden is common property.

Marina Constas, Director at BBM Attorneys

In the last two or three weeks, I’ve had three or four e-mails surrounding this question.

Marina Constas, Director at BBM Attorneys

Cigarette smoke or marijuana smoke is quite an insidious thing. It can cause quite a bit of anxiety with people who don’t smoke.

Marina Constas, Director at BBM Attorneys

There’s part of it that would involve the goodwill of your neighbour. And certainly the way you approach things will play a role.

Marina Constas, Director at BBM Attorneys